Here’s a little something for the health buffs out there. While I usually just measure the distance I walk by how tired I’ve already become (near: not so tired, far: tired, very far: exhausted!) it helps if you can determine how far you’ve actually walked in terms of linear distance. And Google Maps can help here, with a handy third-party web app called Gmaps Pedometer.
Gmaps Pedometer uses the Google Maps API to overlay user data onto Maps. Users can plot the course of their walk by using the “record” function, and double-clicking on points they have walked so far. It’s simple, really, but I think this can be very useful when planning walks, bike rides, or even car trips (if you watch your gas consumption like I do).
Here’s the Gmaps Pedometer panel, which gives you information on distance and other functionalities of the web app.
Let’s start by picking an area to plot points in (here’s some place in Mountain View, CA).
We click on Record to start plotting points. We then start plotting by double clicking where we start walking (or biking, driving, or whatever).
We then continue plotting points by double-clicking on other points where we turn (or stop).
We keep on double clicking at intersections …
While we plot points, we notice that the distance meter is already working (hint: you can switch between English and Metric by selecting the appropriate radio button).
If we want to compute for the total distance, including the return trip, we just click the Complete there and back route link (which really just multiplies the result by two).
We can easily save the route we just made for easy reference by clicking on the save link. Gmap Pedometer then gives us a URL to access the next time we want to see our route again.
Gmap Pedometer also lets you compute for calorie consumption and elevation, so you know how much effort you’ve actually exerted. Next time I compute how tired or exhausted I’ve become with walking, I’ll be sure to use Gmap Pedometer.